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F is for Fräulein: A Braidy Summer ’Do

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How Frau Brown Cow

Okay, so maybe I've a few too many braids going on here for my age, but I'm still new at this doing-something-with-my-hair-instead-of-just-letting-it-hang thing. And according to delightful Alain Larivée, Canadian Creative Consultant for John Frieda, braids are big for summer. So here I've done a reverse French braid from just under my left ear to the nape of my neck just under my right ear, then coiled the braid into a bun and pinned it into place. Pieces hanging in my face got annoying, so I braided the them, too, and tucked them in with a hairpin each. A little fräulein, yes? (Thanks to pal Liza, I now crave kaiserschmarrn.)

Janine Falcon and Prema from Salon Daniel Soho

It's taken me since last October, when Prema (above) of Salon Daniel whipped up this great little ’do for me. It's so simple: a swingy blowdry wound into a casual little hairpinned side bun at the nape of my neck. First time I'd ever worn such a look, and I loved it. I'm not so accomplished with hair-style variety when it comes to my own hair, you see. Frankly I can't be bothered.

I'm lucky that the older I get, the more wash+product+go my waves become. I throw some kind of curl cream into my post-shower wet hair and dash. Blow dry? Pshaw, especially in the summertime when using a dryer and my A/C at the same time blows a fuse. Ponytail? Eck. Looks dreadful if I haven't first blowdried my hair -- the tail part is a bushy mess.

Janine Falcon with Charles Baker Strahan

Five months later stylist Charles Baker Strahan ('s other-reality husband, I believe) again demo'd the sweet side bun for me. Of course he first blowdried my hair -- a task made easier with a little Herbal Essences Long-Term Relationship Leave-In Split-End Protector after I'd used incredibly hydrating Hydralicious Reconditioning shampoo/conditioner at home first -- and added a couple of tendril flourishes with hot iron. That's why he's the pro on deck for a number of celebs including Scarlett Johansson and Leighton Meester (who is now the face of Herbal Essences).

Not-bad hairdo

This, three months after Charles, is as close as I get to recreating what he and Prema did. Nope, no blowdry, no hairspray -- heck, I put curl enhancing stuff in my hair post-shower as usual, then later decided to put it up when it had air dried. Not bad, I think, for a girl just learning how to do something with her hair instead of just letting it hang. (Beg pardon for the dorky vacant look. A certain Liza keeps telling me to stop smiling for my Lipstick Diary; this photo was going to be a lips-only crop for that series except I'm pretty sure Lancôme Color Fever Matte in 151 Avant Garde isn't available in Canada anymore.)

For a comprehensive how-to on braids via Michelle's alternate-reality hubs, click here.

Prema is co-owner of Salon Daniel at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto.